I had a quick look at this movie a couple of months ago. At the time, it was generating a lot of negative feedback due to its… er… unfavourable optics. Gods of Egypt is on general release now, and I think it’s a kindness to say that the reviews are mixed. I went to see it yesterday, and unfortunately, the optics are only part of the problem.
But let’s deal with them first shall we? This has nothing to do with whether or not Hollywood as a whole is doing enough to cast minorities in major roles (if you look at the stats, then they appear to be doing their bit); this is purely about this film, and in this film the casting is a massive issue.
Gods of Egypt is pure fantasy: it’s based around the idea that the Gods of ancient Egypt actually lived in Egypt. They adopted a very ‘hands-on’ management approach to running the world they created, striding around in their perfect ten-feet tall bodies with liquid gold for blood. The film-makers even portrayed the world as flat so that the audience is left in no doubt that none of this actually happened.
Well… I really don’t know how to describe this one. It’s a low-budget action movie, short on plot, big on a set pieces. It has something to do with an albino meglomaniac (why do albinos get such bad press in these films?) and a cyborg army constructed from resurrected corpses. I sort of lost the thread early on, but it was either hang on to it or hang on to my lunch, and since the local cineplex has just had new seats fitted…
Missus Dom and me have an arrangement: one of us gets to pick a movie and then the other picks the next one. I squandered my turn on Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, and I’m still wondering if Eddie the Eagle would have been a better choice…
Some of you might remember Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards: the British ski-jumper who entered the 1988 Winter games at Calgary. Eddie had very little going for him aside from iron gonads and a ‘must try’ attitude. He didn’t do very well of course, but the world loves an underdog, so for most of 1988, the world loved Eddie the Eagle.
So much so, it appears, that someone decided that a biopic based loosely around Eddie’s adventures at the Calgary Games might be a bit of a seller.